Tabai Matson admits Harlequins will need to pull a second leg ‘rabbit out of the hat’ after keeping their Champions Cup hopes alive with a rousing late fightback against Montpellier.

Sunday’s 40-26 first leg result in France looked improbable when prop Titi Lamositele powered over the line for a fourth Montpellier try to propel the Top 14 pace-setters into a 34-0 lead.

But Quins staged a rousing second half comeback as tries from George Hammond, Andre Esterhuizen, Joe Marchant and then Louis Lynagh cut the gap to just 14 points to keep Matson’s side in the contest ahead of next weekend’s second leg.

And the Harlequins chief, whose side welcome Montpellier to Twickenham Stoop on Saturday, said: “The deficit doesn’t change our approach but it means there’s no margin for error.

“When we were down 34-0 it was pretty humiliating, but to be 14 down at home for the second leg probably isn’t a bad result on the back of where we were.

“We are only halfway and there is absolute belief we can pull a rabbit out of the hat next week.

“The lads didn’t bat an eyelid and went about their work knowing they could score some tries.”

Harlequins have proved they’re more than capable of clawing back a deficit after they battled back from 28-0 down against Bristol Bears in last year’s Premiership semi-final.

In-form Quins have triumphed in their last five Premiership fixtures and chief Matson will hope his team’s mixed display in Montpellier was nothing more than a bad day at the office.

They will need to do more to contain Zach Mercer next weekend, who grabbed a double to cap another stunning display for Montpellier since his summer move from Bath.

Matson added: “It is really clear what the task is now.

“When you don’t play well you need to move your mindset. We fell into the trap in the first half, thinking at some point these guys were going to break and they didn’t. That was a bit of a shock.

"Their defence was exceptional, but we missed opportunities to kick and put some more variation into our game.

“Even at the end of the game our breakdown was well off the pace. Those things will be a massive focus this week in particular."